~Tokyo Mew Mew~

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Title: Tokyo Mew Mew

Translated: N/A

Form of Anime: Series/Manga

Released in the U.S.: Yes

Ryo Dark says: I need only one word to describe this anime: kawaii.  It is really cute, but I'm not sure if they use the adorable characters to make up for lack of plot development.  If you like the mahou shoujo thing and catgirls, then this is not to be missed, but I haven't seen enough of the series yet to take a stand on how good it is or not.

This anime is Mahou Shoujo (magic girl) to the MAX!! It is so cute, it's almost sickening (but not quite, so you gotta love it!! ^.~). It stars a young girl named Momomiya Ichigo (remember, Japanese put their family names before their personal names! Translated, it means 'Strawberry Peach'), who is thirteen and in middle school. She is out on her very first date with her beloved Aoyama-kun (cue the shoujo-bubbles and sparkles!), who is the most popular and coolest guy in school, and she gets bathed in this weird light. Afterwards, she finds herself acting very strange -- almost catlike, in fact. She falls from a two-story balcony and lands on her feet, grabs a fish in her teeth, etc. It is only after Aoyama is attacked by this weird monster-rat that she finds out what has happened to her. A young man appears and gives her a locket, telling her to say the words that she can feel. Ichigo transforms into a neko-shoujo (cat-girl), and uses magic to defeat the monster, who turns back into a normal rat. The young man, Shirogane, and another man, Akasaka, reveal that she is the first of the 'Mew Project' (that's 'mew' as in the Greek letter mu, not like a cat's meow, by the way), and her catlike powers come from the Irimote Cat. She, and four 'comrades' who she must find, will defend the world from these aliens who are trying to take over the planet, and using animals to further their attacks. Ichigo is soon joined by Mint (who gets her power from the Tahiti Blue Lory -- a bird), Lettuce (getting powers from the Finless Porpoise), Pudding (who has the powers of the Golden Lion Tamarin -- a type of monkey), and Zakuro (The Grey Wolf). The five girls have to fight the aliens -- Kishu, Taruto and Pai, the former of which seems to have a rather unhealthy attachment to Ichigo ^.^;;;; He often calls her his 'toy' and 'kitten.' The aliens take the Spirit of a person and combine it with this jellyfish-like creature to create a monster, or they have the creature fuse with an animal, and it grows huge and attains massive powers that the girls have to fight off. As a cover, the girls wok as waitresses in Tokyo's Cafe Mew, the which Shirogane and Akasaka own and run.

The supernatural problems are offset by more normal ones: Ichigo's relationship with Aoyama, Mint's troubles with her brother, Pudding's family problems, etc. It makes for a really fun time!

The only problem that I have with this show is that the transformation sequences are all thirty seconds long (I've timed them), and get extremely repetitive after a while. But that's solved with a little fast-forwarding, and the rest of the show is so bouncy and cute, it's irresistible!

Music: 5 stars out of five!! (**very** happy and bouncy, and fun to sing along to! the kind of music that makes you want to dance!)

Animation: 5 stars out of five! (*extremely* cute and shojou-y, with *lots* of bishi for all!)

Plot: 3.5 stars out of five! (A trifle bit repetitive with the monsters, but really interesting and cute!)

Characters: 4 stars out of five! (very interesting, with real-life 'troubles' that you can relate to, but not soap-operaish.)

Overall: 4.5 stars out of five! (if you like cuteness and mahou-shoujo, this is a must!)